Bury St Edmunds/Risby: Death crash driver hopes family of tragic cyclist Julian Evans will one day forgive her
11:06 10 January 2014
A motorist who caused the death of a Suffolk cyclist by careless driving has expressed the hope that his devastated family will one day be able to forgive her for their tragic loss.
Deborah Lumley-Holmes was behind the wheel of her Nissan Micra on Newmarket Road, Risby, on October 7, 2012, when she drove into the back of a bicycle ridden by 51-year-old Julian Evans.
Mr Evans, of Woodland Close, Risby, was knocked off his bike and died in hospital from his injuries the following day, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Lumley-Holmes, 53, of Cannon Street, Bury St Edmunds admitted causing Mr Evans’ death by careless driving and was given a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and banned from driving for 12 months. She was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work in the community and to attend a women’s emotional wellbeing course.
Sentencing her, Judge John Holt described the case as an “absolute tragedy” for everyone involved.
He had read four victim impact statements and he said to describe the reaction of family members to Mr Evans’ death as “devastated” was inadequate.
“You can’t explain what happened and I accept that, so precisely why you didn’t see Mr Evans will remain a mystery,” said the judge.
He said the accident happened in daylight and even accepting the view of her own expert Lumley-Holmes would have had a clear view of Mr Evans for 60m which meant that if she was driving at 30mph he would have been in her view for four-and-a half seconds. If she was driving at 40mph he would have been in her view for three-and-a half seconds.
After yesterday’s sentencing hearing Mr Evans’ family declined to comment but Lumley-Holmes said: “ I would like to say how very sorry and devastated I am for the accident and tragic loss of Julian Evans and to say how sorry I am for the loss, hurt and suffering this has caused the family and those dear to him.
“I pray and hope that in the future the family can forgive me for their tragic loss.”
Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said the accident had happened on a straight stretch of road and Lumley-Holmes should have seen Mr Evans, who was dressed in a light blue shirt and shorts.
He said police accident investigators had conservatively estimated Mr Evans would have been visible to Lumley-Holmes for 200m and this meant that if she was travelling at 30mph she would have had 11 seconds to see him. “This was not momentary inattention,” said Mr Sadd.
Michael Procter, for Lumley-Holmes, said his client, who has no previous convictions, had no recollection of seeing Mr Evans before the accident.
He described her as an “exemplary citizen” and said in addition to raising £18,000 for charity she had worked as a volunteer at a local hospice and had done this even when she had breast cancer.
On the day in question she had taken an elderly neighbour suffering from dementia shopping in Newmarket and was driving home when the collision took place.
Mr Procter said Lumley-Holmes accepted she should have seen Mr Evans and was “devastated and horrified” at what had happened.
Mr Evans, who was known as “Jules” to family and friends had lived in Risby for 14 years and worked as a regional sales manager for a company based in West Yorkshire. He was married with a step-daughter.